Drunken shrimp creole recipe

Published June 27, 2010 12:27AM (EDT)

(Serves 6)


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, shelled and deveined (save shells for stock)
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 celery stalks -- top 1/3, including leafy section, cut off, diced and reserved for stock -- the remainder diced
  • 1 leek, thoroughly washed -- top 1/3 cut off, diced and reserved for stock -- the remainder diced
  • 1 medium-sized cooking onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, stems removed before measuring
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeds and membranes removed, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 medium tomatoes, coarsely diced
  • 1 12-ounce bottle dark beer
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


  1. Heat the oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the reserved shrimp shells and stir for about 1 minute, or until they turn pink. Add the water, bay leaves, celery and leek tops, 1/4 of the onion and half of the thyme.
  3. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. (Adjust heat as required to simmer.)
  4. The liquid should reduce to 1 cup of rich stock. Strain through a strainer or sieve and discard the solids. Set stock aside. Rinse the pot.
  5. Melt the butter over medium-high heat in the same pot. Add the remaining onion, leek and celery, as well as the garlic and bell pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes.
  6. Add the black pepper, celery salt, cayenne and the remaining thyme. Cook and stir for 2 more minutes.
  7. Add the tomatoes, beer, shrimp stock, Worcestershire and Tabasco sauce. Increase heat to medium-high, bring to a boil, then immediately reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. (Adjust heat as required to simmer.)
  8. As your guests are heading for the table, add the shrimp and stir for about 3 minutes, or until pink throughout.
  9. Stir in the lemon juice and serve.

Le Secret: Do not overcook the shrimp.

The Adventure Club: Find a beer store that carries a variety of specialty beers and buy some authentic Dixie beer (it's a brand).

Garnish: Lemon wedges

Suggested Accompaniment: Rice and greens

Alternatives: The tomatoes may be replaced with eight cups (40 ounces) canned peeled tomatoes.

Notes: Despite the fact that I usually advocate using store-bought broth, the homemade shrimp stock provides a flavorful base that is integral to this recipe.

Hints for Advance Prep: The stock may be made up to three days in advance, or frozen for up to six months. The rest of the dish may be made two days in advance.

Prep Time: Fifteen minutes

Cooking Time: One hour, 45 minutes

By Bob Blumer

Bob Blumer (aka the Surreal Gourmet) hosts his own program on the Food Channel.
The Surreal Gourmet's Web Site is located at http://surrealgourmet.com.

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